Preface (from the 1983 German edition)
The Mission of Spiritual Science
Berlin, 14th October 1909.
The spirit is a reality for spiritual science. Count von Hoditz and
Wolframitz, a personality of outstanding importance, said: Man is in essence
an image of the Divine. Today spiritual science exists; a higher,
super-sensible form of knowledge. Goethe saw in the harmonious human being the
goal of the universe. Kant denied a path of knowledge leading into the
spiritual world, from which comes moral consciousness, duty and conscience.
Goethe is his antithesis. By means of “contemplative judgement”
one can ascend into the spiritual world. The stages on this path are
Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. Initiates in ancient times revealed
the most profound secrets of life in legends and myths as well as in symbols.
The “Therapeutae” were able to look into the spiritual world.
Augustin experienced an awareness of the Divine. Today spiritual observation
can be expressed in the logical terms of external science. It is the mission
of spiritual science to ascend into the spiritual world by developing the
hidden forces of the soul.
Lecture 2. The Mission of Anger
Munich, 5th December 1909.
There are hidden faculties in the soul. Soul and spirit can issue only
from soul and spirit. The fact of repeated earth lives is a consequence of
this. The sentient soul is connected with the sentient body, the Intellectual
soul with the ether body and the consciousness soul with the physical body.
In the sentient soul lie images, antipathy and sympathy. The intellectual
soul forms thoughts and judgements with the outside world. We have to make
ourselves as many-sided as possible and overcome egoism. Anger can educate
the human being to calmness and true gentleness. Prometheus brought language,
knowledge, writing and fire to mankind, all of them gifts which educate the
ego. The wrath of Zeus extinguishes the power of the ego in Prometheus. Zeus
is succeeded by Christ, anger by the loving ego.
Lecture 3. The Mission of Truth
Berlin, 22nd October 1909.
The ego is confined between losing itself and egoism. Lessing demands
that man strive for truth. A sense of truth leads to selflessness. The
one-sided point of view does not lead to truth. Passions, desires, have to be
overcome; to the same extent peace and harmony rules among man. There is the
truth of reflective thought about outer observation, as well as truth which
comes about by creative thought. Among the latter are the truths of spiritual
science. Reflective thinking can lead to egoism; truths arrived at by
creative thinking, which lead into the future, liberate us from our self.
This is the contrast between Epimetheus and Prometheus. Both the Titan
brothers must work together. Wisdom and the Word have to unite with the
Lecture 4. The Mission of Reverence
Berlin, 28th October 1909.
The “Unio mystica” is the union with the eternal-feminine
within human reach. The human being should strengthen his ego but he must not
harden it into egoism. The will is able to develop devotion towards the
unknown, the feeling develops love for the unknown. When both are united
reverence comes into being, which leads to knowledge of the unknown. Love
without judgement leads to sentimental enthusiasm. Love and devotion imbued
with the right kind of self-feeling lead upwards. Gestures of reverence are
the bended knee, folded hands, the lifted face. The soul purifies within
itself a feeling for what is beautiful and what is good. The will, purified
by reverence, builds up moral ideals. In old age the strength arises to be
active in life. We draw near to the Almighty, Increasingly rich knowledge is
the result of educating the consciousness soul. The
“eternal-masculine” must permeate all reverence. The strong ego
ascends to higher regions.
Lecture 5. Human Character
Munich, 14th March 1909.
The divisions in the being of man must be overcome by the unified
character. At its foundation lies the harmony brought forth by the ego from
the interaction of the three soul members. The human being ripens through
experience and wisdom learnt from life. Experiences are transformed into
abilities. They are limited by the disposition of the physical and ether
bodies. The forces which we have woven into archetype can only enter
existence in a new life. The outer is an expression of the inner being.
Laocoon, an image of the human being from which the ego is absent. True
ripeness of experience is not attained until the 35th year of age. Joy and
love fill the physical body of the child with strength. Then there are fewer
obstacles for the ego in the period of the consciousness soul. Similar links
exist between the ether body and the intellectual soul and the periods when
they manifest themselves. The experience of authority in the period from 7 to
14 provides the foundation for courage. The ideals presented to the human
being in the period from 14 to 21 are imprinted on the sentient soul.
Immersion in the cosmic secrets further remoulds the character. Character is
evident in facial expression, the physiognomy and the formation of the
Lecture 6. Asceticism and Illness
Berlin, 11th November 1909
Spiritual science asks how can the human being surpass the limits of his
knowledge at a given time by developing his abilities. The human being
requires the stimulus of the outside world for the development of his
consciousness. But he can strengthen the inner members of his being in such a
manner that he retains consciousness in them without stimulus from the
outside world. A first exercise is symbolic concepts, such as the rose-cross.
Such an exercise is asceticism in the true sense. The human being may reject
the spiritual for reasons of self-preservation if it were to throw his mind
into confusion. It would be self-destructive to accept knowledge of the
spiritual world purely for sensationalism. It is the wrong type of asceticism
to weaken the body and not work on the soul. False images of one's own being
are the result. Illness can be a symptom for a faulty relationship between
body and soul. By strengthening the forces of the soul healing forces can be
given to the body.
Lecture 7. Human Egoism
Berlin, 25th November 1909
For Goethe the human being is the summit of existence. The ego is the
bearer of justified and unjustified egoism. If the human being places his
experiences at the disposal of mankind he is a microcosm. If he does not do
this, then he becomes hardened. The wrong kind of egoism leads to a desolate
existence. All great truths have a health-giving effect on the soul. Feelings
which develop understanding for the outer world strengthen the life-forces.
Our strength of soul develops out of ourselves the world of our actions. In
the human being the higher human being is born. Wisdom gained by insight into
the world passes into the will. In “Wilhelm Meister” Goethe shows
the nature of egoism. Mignon is a being which is not yet an ego. The
“Beautiful Soul” initially shows a refined form of egoism. But
then she experiences the course of Christ's life. The human being can
understand the great world around him only when his own enriched inner being
flows out into the environment. Spiritual forces guide the human being. In
the “Years of Travel” various tales and much wisdom is
interspersed. In the “pedagogical province” the significance of
veneration is shown. Makarie experiences the universe. Self-knowledge can
become world-knowledge and world knowledge can lead to
Lecture 8. Buddha and Christ
Berlin, 2nd December 1909
Buddha speaks only about the means whereby man can come to an existence
satisfying in itself. In the conversation between Nagasena and King Milinda
the former shows how only effects pass from one earth-life to the next.
Buddhism turns away from the physical world. The Christian carries the
results of an earth-life into the next. Buddha sees the suffering which
assails the human being from outside. The human being must fight the thirst
for existence by means of the eight-fold path. Buddha wants release from the
suffering of existence. Christianity is the religion of rebirth on a
spiritual level. The East is non-historical, the West historical.
Christianity sees the aim of development in that all the gains of earth-lives
shine forth in ever higher levels of perfection and are resurrected at the
end of earth-existence. It is Christian to overcome the error that the
outside world is merely Maya. Everything which we experience in the
incarnations must be developed in order that it may experience resurrection
in the spiritual sense. At the time of Christ the old clairvoyance wanes. In
its place the culture of the ego arises. The beatitudes point the way to the
ego, to the divine part in the human being. The death of Christ is the
starting-point for an immortal life. In the last instance Faust ascends from
death to life. In Goethe a Christianity of the future appears.
Lecture 9. Something about the Moon
in the Light of Spiritual Science
Berlin, 9th December 1909
The “moon controversy” between Fechner and Schleiden. Fechner
collated many observations on the rhythm of the moon. Goethe was working on
meteorological studies. He sees the earth as a being imbued with life. The
ego works on the three soul members. The sentient body is connected with
man's place of home. The angle at which the sun's rays strike the earth
varies from place to place. The ether body is dependent on the change of the
seasons. In the far north and in the tropics the intellectual soul is unable
to create a useful instrument from the ether body. The physical body develops
in the alternation of day and night. Productive periods occur in 14-day
rhythms. For the spiritual researcher there are periods when spiritual
illuminations surge in on him and others when he penetrates them with his
thinking. The earth holds the moon in orbit. The forces of the moon work to
prepare the bearers of the soul. The human being transforms the external
rhythm into an internal one. The tides are caused by deeper forces in the
earth. The embryonic period is determined by ten lunar months.